When did evolutionary biologists begin to use feminist perspectives?
Feminist perspectives were incorporated into evolutionary biology starting a little over 20 years ago–fairly recently. However, one thing I have to say in defense of science is that if something works, people use it. They may disagree with it initially, but if it does a better job than what they’re currently doing, maybe they won’t change, but their graduate students will. In the book, Patricia Gowaty says that “Many evolutionists and feminists explicitly seek to understand human nature.” Can behavioral ecology research help us to understand human nature? Yes, but with a caveat because several biases have skewed studies done thus far. For instance, scientists have tended to study species that fit their perceptions of how things should work. Then, when they observe the animals, they often see what they expect to see. An example of this is primate research. The first species people studied were the ones in which males were fighting, females were scrapping with each other; it was sex and